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The overall goal of the Land Systems Group is to advance the understanding of terrestrial social-ecological systems where humans interact with the environment through land use. We analyze the multiple repercussions of the changes in land use on human welfare, food production, carbon dynamics, and biodiversity, as well as the effects of socioecological changes on land use. We approach these issues through quantitative and qualitative assessments alike and combine approaches from social and natural sciences at different spatial scales.

Specifically, we work with spatially explicit methods that include econometric modeling, quantitative geography, crop growth modeling, remote sensing, data mining, and simulation modeling. The current geographic focus of the research group are the countries of the former Soviet Union, China, and Southeast Asia.



28 January 2022

New paper on climate change impacts in Ukraine published in Climatic Change

We used random forests to show that climatic means and weather extremes alone explain more than half of the wheat yield variability in Ukraine. Heat waves, tropical night waves, frost, and drought conditions, particularly during the reproductive and grain filling phase, constitute key factors that...

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18 November 2021

New paper published in Biological Conservation

We show that agricultural production, protection of biodiversity, and maintaining carbon stocks can still be balanced in the Gran Chaco, one of the world’s largest tropical dry forests with high deforestation rates. However, rapid action is needed...

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21 September 2021

New paper published in Frontiers in Conservation Science

We quantify forest degradation, its dynamics and proximate causes for the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2002 to 2016. Our results highlight targeted interventions and policies that can help to reduce forest degradation but cautions that...

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